I have fish, tree nut and a lot of fruit intolerances,and some close friends have severe allergies ranging from coeliacs to eggs. My husband has Gout and we try to keep a low uric acid diet to help control it (bring on the cream) I've also moved to Britain years ago and had to find new ways to do old tricks and now have really mastered the art of substitution.
I have a 2.5 year old that's already a kitchen helper, and a kitchen the size of a postage stamp. I get annoyed with fussy recipes with one too many extra 'little touches' and prefer good use of core ingredients and brave flavours without the 'pinch of' a 1000 more things crutches. I don't have the room for appliances, and can't get the old brand names or pre-mixed ingredients, so I really appreciate recipes that make it from scratch and use more traditional methods.
My favorite things to cook
I love a good dessert and your granny's recipe box. I love trying ancient cultures and world recipes and discovering new ingredients. I'm notorious for re-working traditional recipes with blatant irreverence and approximate measurements. I love a challange and can make nearly anything on a campfire and most things friendly to nearly any dietary requirement. No felicity is greater than starting with a yellowing bit of note card with a penciled translation and seeing where it goes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I was raised on a variety of good traditional foods from goulash and Grandma's Swedish meatballs to Fry Bread and Gazpacho. We lived for the day when mom would break out the Betty Crocker Cooky Book and let us pick. I still make Spritz Cookies every Christmas. I remember with pride the day I was finally shown how to make my Family Fudge recipe and after a few tweaks have won awards for it. I have taken a solemn vow with my Mother never to revel. The kitchen has always been a place of comfort and adventure. I love passing on the most basic of recipes to new cooks, or old ones trying new ways. All of which I've learned from my sprawling family of foodies.
My cooking triumphs
Top Ten in no particular order:
Winning my first fudge contest
Winning my first cake contest
Winning a Barista competition for most creative drink.
Inventing my first recipe - Bailey's print cookies with Butterscotch Schnapps Cream
Making my German mother-in-law's Saurbraten and having it turn out.
Making an egg, gluten, nut, fruit, milk and chocolate free cake and no one noticing the difference (27 attempts to get there!)
Making Pound Cake that tasted like my mother's
Teaching a Room Full of Brits how to do proper buttercream frosting and what brownies should taste like
The First time I made something "better than his mother" (Christmas Dinner)
Making a cake with my daughter for the first time. (but not the cleaning after)
My cooking tragedies
Things I have never mastered:
Removing a cake without using greaseproof paper
Hiding the 'accidents' in recipes from my mother
Getting my husband to eat carrots
Scrambling eggs without destroying a pan
I can't make French Toast... always comes out wrong.